The Tucson Symphony Orchestra To Perform Stravinsky’s Legendary Firebird

by Tucson Symphony

Jose Luis Gomez Conducts Program Featuring Debussy’s Prelude to Afternoon of a Faun and the TSO Premiere of Glazunov’s Symphony No. 4

Tweet Seats Offered for First Time at Friday Performance

(Tucson, AZ)—Music Director José Luis Gomez will lead the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in performances of Igor Stravinsky’s Suite from Firebird on Friday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 22 at 2:00 p.m. at the Tucson Music Hall. The program will open with Claude Debussy’s Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun and conclude with the TSO premiere of Alexander Glazunov’s Symphony No. 4. Concert Comments, one hour prior to performances, are complimentary with tickets. For the first time, at the Friday performance, there will be a special section for concert goers to receive information on their mobile devices about the music as it is being performed.

A perennial favorite, Firebird is based on the Russian folk tales about a magical, glowing bird that is both a blessing and a curse for its captor.  Firebird began life as a ballet for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes but 28-year-old Igor Stravinsky was hired to compose the music only after Diaghilev grew tired of waiting for the music from his first choice, Anatol Liadov.  Diaghilev correctly predicted that it would be Stravinsky’s popular breakthrough and the two continued their collaboration with Petrushka and The Rite of Spring.  Stravinsky prepared a concert suite from Firebird in 1911, but its large orchestration, like that of the full ballet, made it difficult for symphony orchestras on a budget. The 1919 version, which Gomez is conducting with the TSO, trimmed the orchestral forces needed to a more modest but thoroughly workable instrumental piece which has remained popular to this day.

TSO Principal Flute Alexander Lipay will be featured on Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun performing one of the most famous flute solos in music. The piece is another personal choice by Maestro Gomez as he introduces himself during his inaugural season. His father was Principal Flute of the Maracaibo Symphony in Venezuela where Gomez grew up. “He was very proud of his playing of Debussy’s Afternoon of a Fawn,” he recalled. “He had a facsimile of the manuscript and I remember looking at it with him.”

Glazunov’s Symphony No. 4, an audience favorite for more than a century with its beauty, lyricism, virtuosity, and romantic appeal, was also a personal pick by Gomez. He says:

“I chose Symphony No. 4 because it was my first ‘conducting’ approach to his music. I thought of doing the same with my TSO audience. I am happy to be the first conductor to introduce them to his symphony. We can share the experience of discovering it together.”

To assist in the discovery process, the TSO is offering tweet seats for the first time at the Friday evening performance only. The TSO will send out informational Tweets during performances so people sitting in the Tweet Seats-designated area can learn about the music being played. Attendees will use mobile devices to receive the tweets and engage with the TSO. Tweet Seats is the perfect opportunity for first-timers to learn about what they are hearing or for long-time classical fans to brush up on their knowledge.

The Classic Series is sponsored by Mrs. Dorothy Dyer Vanek.

Tickets for Firebird are $30 to $86. They are available online at, at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Box Office, 2175 N. Sixth Avenue or by phone at 520.882.8585.  TSO Box Office hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. unless otherwise indicated.

Programming, artists and prices are subject to change.

Contact: Terry Marshall, Public Relations Manager, 520.620.9158